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Feb 28 9 tweets 2 min read
Too close for comfort. 😳

At ~06:30 UTC today we observed a conjunction at 608 km between two non-maneuverable spacecraft: a derelict Russian satellite and an operational NASA satellite.

Miss distance = <20 meters
Probability of collision = 3 to 8% at TCA Image 1/ Why does this event matter?

This event is notable because it is rare. In the last two years, there have been only 6 events with a miss distance of < 20 m between two intact, non-maneuverable objects.

Plus, it would've been dangerous...
Sep 18, 2023 9 tweets 2 min read
⚠️ On Sept 13, a derelict Soviet-era payload had a conjunction with a Chinese rocket body.

The miss distance was 36 m (± 13 m) and the probability of collision was 1E-3 (i.e., 0.1% or 1/1,000).

While we've seen more nail biting events, this one is notable — here's why. 1/ Cosmos 807 and CZ-4C had a combined hard body radius (HBR) of 5.6 m. This contributed to the relatively large probability of collision (PC) value.

If these two objects had collided, the number of resulting cataloged fragments would have likely been ~3,000. 🤯
May 8, 2023 7 tweets 3 min read
Update ➡️ The PRC Test Spacecraft 2 (NORAD ID 53357) landed in the early hours ET on Monday, 8 May 2023.

Based on our observation data and confirmed by reports, the landing window was likely between 0018 - 0020 UTC. Members of our global operations team in the AIPAC region observed that the object missed a scheduled early morning pass over the LeoLabs Kiwi Space Radar on 8 May 2023 local time. Image
Apr 21, 2023 4 tweets 2 min read
On April 13, we detected a large maneuver by Object 53357, the PRC’s experimental spaceplane.

This maneuver resulted in a decrease in altitude from 613 - 355 km.

Shown below: the previous orbit is in orange and the new one is in blue. Image This new mission phase could indicate preparations for landing of the reusable spaceplane — or something new entirely.
Jan 27, 2023 10 tweets 4 min read
Too close for comfort... 😳

Two large, defunct objects in #LEO narrowly missed each other this morning — an SL-8 rocket body (16511) and Cosmos 2361 (25590) passed by one another at an altitude of 984km. 🚀⚠️ #SpaceDebris LeoLabs platform illustrati... 1/ Based on our radar tracking data, we computed a miss distance of only 6 meters with an error margin of only a few tens of meters.
Jan 27, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
1/ We are monitoring a close approach event involving IRAS (13777), the decommissioned space telescope launched in 1983, and GGSE-4 (2828), an experimental US payload launched in 1967.

(IRAS image credit: NASA) 2/ On Jan 29 at 23:39:35 UTC, these two objects will pass close by one another at a relative velocity of 14.7 km/s (900km directly above Pittsburgh, PA). Our latest metrics on the event show a predicted miss distance of between 15-30 meters.